For more than a month, students at Mangawhai Beach School worked on their art board as part of the Kauri Museum’s annual Matariki school exhibition. This year’s theme is Nga Ika o Otamatea, the fish of Otamatea, and Mangawhai School’s nominated species was the kahu, or yellow-tailed kingfish.
Four schools, including Mangawhai, attended the opening of the exhibition and associated activities. More than 100 students, with their teachers and parents, assembled outside the museum on Frida June 15.
A long blast from a pukaea, or trumpet, got the group’s attention, followed by a karanga inviting the group into the Volunteers Hall. After welcoming speeches, students formed an eager audience to learn about taonga puoro (Maori musical instruments) from their maker and player, Bernard Makoare, from Kaihu.
An impromptu music lesson on some of the instruments ended the presentation. Matua Bernard then opened the exhibition with a karakia, in which he was helped by the students, and then it was time for lunch. Back in the Volunteers Hall, a kapa haka concert was enjoyed by students, staff and parents; not to mention a few visitors to the museum who joined the audience! Due to a mixup, Mangawhai School was unaware of the concert.
A brave, lone representative of the school’s kapa haka group began a solo haka and was then joined by the other groups to complete the performance. A great ending to a great concert. Afternoon tea concluded the day at the museum and then it was time to head home. The Kauri Museum wants to thank Mangawhai Beach School for joining this year’s Matariki celebration – it was an outstanding success.
Nga Ika o Otamatea artwork will remain on display until July 29.